Certain organisations now have a duty to refer to a local housing authority anybody they may be working with who they believe might be homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Your client must give their permission to be referred, and it’s their choice which local authority they are referred to.

The organisations responsible for making these referrals are:

  • prisons and youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres and colleges
  • youth offending teams and probation services
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
  • urgent treatment centres (such as walk-in centres)
  • in-patient hospitals
  • Social Service authorities
  • Ministry of Defence (for members of the regular armed forces)

We are happy to take referrals from other organisations as well if they are working with households that may be threatened with homelessness, so that we can see what preventative help may be offered as early as possible.

What to ask

If you are working with someone who is either homeless or threatened with homelessness you should ask:

  • have you already been referred to a local housing authority for assistance? There is no need to refer someone who has already been referred by another agency.
  • do you give consent for me to refer you to a local housing authority for help with resolving your housing situation? You’ll need to share basic information about the applicant with the housing authority.
  • which local housing authority would you like me to refer you to?

Choose an appropriate local housing authority

Your client can choose which local housing authority they wish to be referred to. However, it’s sensible to guide them towards the local council that is best equipped to resolve their situation. This will usually be in the area they live in or last had a settled home – unless there’s a threat of violence in that district.

If the client is threatened with being made homeless within the next 56 days, we’ll try to help. If the client needs to find somewhere different to live, we’ll explore options including private rented housing and registering for social rent.

If your client is already homeless, we’ll investigate whether they have a local connection with Huntingdonshire. If they do not, we’ll refer them to the council area where they do have one as it will, in most cases, be that council’s responsibility to try and relieve their actual homeless.

If you have consent to refer a client to us, and think it is appropriate to do so, then please complete the form on this link and email it to us at housingadvice@huntingdonshire.gov.uk. There is also a list of local housing authorities on the above link if you need to find the contact details for another council that your client may wish to be referred to.

What will happen next? 

We’ll review your referral and if we are satisfied that they are eligible for help, and either homeless or threatened with homeless, we’ll agree an action plan with them to either help prevent their homelessness or help them find alternative housing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be able to provide housing directly, but we will offer assistance to try and prevent or relieve homelessness wherever possible.